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Cakebread Cellars celebrates its 40th anniversary


Photo courtesy of Cakebread Cellars

From left to right: Dennis, Jack, Dolores and Bruce Cakebread. 

In 2005, Cakebread Cellars stopped growing…in size, at least. Dennis Cakebread, who's in town for tonight's (sold out) Cakebread wine dinner at Japengo, says "we decided we reached the size we wanted to be. We're in a sweet spot. We didn't want to get so big that we'd lose what made us special. Especially in wine, if you get too big, you lose all your technique. We think we're fine, handmade, artisan wines, and we don't want to lose that."

Cakebread is still introducing new wines, though, such as the 2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir that will be poured at tonight's dinner. Jack Cakebread, Dennis' father, started Cakebread in Napa Valley 40 years ago. He was a garage owner in Oakland who enjoyed his wine, and in 1972, acquired 22 acres and became a hobbyist wine grower. Cakebread Cellars eventually became known for its chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, but the next generation—Dennis and Bruce—wanted to try other wines, including pinot noir. They planted forty-six acres of mostly pinot noir grapes in Anderson Valley, an area becoming known for its pinot noir, in part because of its cooler climate. 

The other Cakebread wines being poured tonight: 2010 Cakebread Cellars Sauvignon Blanc; 2009 Cakebread Cellars Reserve Chardonnay; 2009 Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2010 Cakebread Cellars Zinfandel.

Tonight's dinner is sold out, but Cakebread wines are available at Tamura's, The Wine Stop and other specialty wine markets.

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